Editor’s Note: Maybe We’re the Sane Ones

While the rest of the nation is squaring off into increasingly insular and hostile political and cultural tribes, we in L.A. are blowing air-kisses at anyone and everyone
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In other parts of the country, a lot of people think of Los Angeles as Crazy Town. They imagine that we’re a city full of kooks and flakes and phonies. As if someone grabbed America by the East Coast, gave it a good shake, and all the weird bits that weren’t bolted down slid across the Great Plains, bounced over the Rockies, and landed here, in our palm tree–lined, sun-dappled, movie star–infested asylum of a burg. On Fox News, California is a punchline—La La Land, as Tucker Carlson calls it.

And, OK, while some of that might be sort of true, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps they’ve got it backward. As I’ve watched events unfold in recent months—women’s reproductive rights being stripped away by right-wing state legislatures, common-sense gun laws being struck down even as third-graders are shot dead; the revelation that a president of the United States tried to carjack his own SUV and drive it to an armed insurrection at the Capitol—I’ve started to think that maybe we’re the sane ones. It’s everyone else in America who seems kind of crazy right now.

Maybe we’re the sane ones. It’s everyone else in America who seems kind of crazy right now.

As we’ve been putting together this year’s Best of L.A. issue, I’ve thought a lot about what I love most about this city. And I’ve come to realize one of the very best things about Los Angeles is its exuberant embrace of difference. Sure, we have our internal squabbles—just ask Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. But for the most part, there’s an atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance here that continues to flourish even as it’s disappearing everywhere else in America. While the rest of the nation is squaring off into increasingly insular and hostile political and cultural tribes, we in L.A. are blowing air-kisses at anyone and everyone, like a big, dippy, dysfunctional family. 

That was the idea behind this month’s cover shoot, which we shot in late June at Tail o’ the Pup, a newly reopened West Hollywood landmark. Where else but L.A. could you find a surfer, a drag queen, an heiress, a Hasid, two goths, and Tom Cruise spending an afternoon together? Yes, we took a few liberties. Our Hasid was a character actor who shed his black duds as soon as the shoot was over and hightailed it over to Shake Shack. Cruise was played by Miles Fisher, an entrepreneur and social-media sensation who attracted millions of followers for his uncannily Tom-like deep-fake videos on TikTok. (But the drag queen and the heiress and the surfer are 100 percent authentic. And the cute kid in the straw hat is really my eight-year-old nephew, Liam.) Ultimately, the collegial blend of fact and fantasy seemed very on point. After all, what could be more L.A. than deep-faking it until you make it?

Maer Roshan, Editor-in-Chief


This story is featured in the July 2022 issue of Los Angeles

(Photograph by Corina Marie at Tail o’ the Pup, June 2022.)

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